On Thursday 16th October 2008, I turned 18. This was a birthday that I’d been looking forward to for ages, just like everyone else I was excited at the prospect of becoming an official adult and all the joys that come with turning 18! Me and my friend Kat, who’s birthday is 3 days after mine, had been looking forward to this. Our plan was that we would both go out clubbing to celebrate and we were excited to do so as we would be the first of our group of friends to do it! However it didn’t turn out that way.
On my 18th birthday I was still going through the rigorous process of radiotherapy and I still couldn’t stand on my own two feet. Clubbing, therefore was definitely not an option. My day started out pretty much the same as any other day. Me and Mum woke up and she helped me get downstairs to the sofa in our conservatory, where I was spending most of my time now. We did presents etc. and I was feeling really happy, although it did feel weird not being able to open my presents properly with only my right hand working and having to still lie down on my left side. I got lots of great gifts from my family, and then came some more. We had some laughs that morning with some of my Mum’s friends coming round to give me gifts. The best of all was one of my Mum’s friends who had bought me an inflatable dog balloon, who she left on our doorstop and hid behind a bush after ringing the bell. I didn’t get to see this but I still laughed at the thought of my Mum opening the door only to see this dog!
Unfortunately we still had to go up to the hospital that day, for yet another dose of radiotherapy. One good thing was that I didn’t have to do anything else that day, i.e. physio, blood tests, sorting medications, etc. All I had to do was to have the radiotherapy treatment and then I could go straight back home, and I was so relived that was all I had to do today.
When I was called into the radiotherapy room, my Mum wheeled me in and I was amazed at the fact that the nurses had decorated the room for me. There were banners and balloons up everywhere and that really put a smile on my face to see that they had put in this effort for me. They let me keep the balloons etc. and helped my Mum attach them to my wheelchair. When we were walking back through the hospital, I got a lot of smiles and Happy Birthdays and for once in a long time I felt great!
So that was my birthday in essence but my Mum still wanted me to do something with my friends, therefore on the following weekend a few of my friends were invited over so that they could sit with me and watch a film, whilst having lots of naughty snacks of course! My friends were so lovely that day, not treating me any different than they usually would have. They didn’t moan at me when I kept falling asleep and they really made my birthday, by just being there. We didn’t talk about cancer at all, just about what was going on at college and about my birthday. It was really lovely to know that I could still have these great moments with them, having not been seeing them every day at college.